Continuing rough seas over last weekend produced some unexpectedly good sport for shore anglers in the Teesbay and Hartlepool areas. Large numbers of good conditioned fat summer whiting moving inshore, with some of the bigger specimens around the 2lb mark. Hopefully fish of this quality will still be around for the coming winter season. Colin Gordon had another all night session on the Hartlepool piers and took home three bags of quality whiting and dabs. Only the odd cod has been reported, mainly because the hordes of hungry whiting were getting to any bait before anything else had a chance. Calmer conditions midweek saw plenty of flatties and small coalfish showing and the odd specimen plaice approaching the 4lb mark has been reported taking ragworm baits. Flounders, dabs, and the odd small bass are evident from Crimdon and the Durham beaches, and all of the regions rivers now have some big flounders and eels showing.
During the summer months anglers might expect a few surprises like a big bass or thornback ray, and the heavy seas of late may have been expected to produce the odd bigger cod around the 6lb mark for a lucky angler, but a double figure cod in the middle of June is a rare event. Few appear even in the winter months, and no one would expect one to show in the river Tyne either. But Russ Overton left South Shields pier during a Westoe A.C. match because of the rough seas to fish the river Tyne expecting to pick up a few coalfish. The classic lunging cod bite he had produced a fine conditioned summer specimen of 10lb 2oz, which of course won the match and heaviest fish. Mick Jewitt had three smaller cod for 3lb 10oz and Trevor Davison had a single cod weighing 1lb 10oz. Mick Davison won the Seaham A.C. Tuck Brothers Trophy with two fish for 2.35lb, including the heaviest fish; a cod of 2.00lb
Some nice plaice are also showing from the lower Tyne where Dave Wood won a L.&S.B.A.C. match with a bag total of 9lb 10oz, which included four plaice, best one weighing1lb 13oz. IN the same match Steve Brennan had one of 1lb 10oz and Steve Ward had one of 2lb 7oz. Tony Taylor won a Tynemouth A.C. Match with four dabs and a plaice for 2¾lb, Dave Bentley had the biggest plaice at 1lb 5oz.
The settled conditions saw the odd mackerel start to move back inshore with some anglers taking bags of seven or eight fish, the bigger shoals should start to appear if the calm weather continues. The improved sea condition also saw the summer cod start to be taken from the Northumberland rock edge marks where specimens to 4lb have been reported; as well as quality wrasse, coalfish and pollack. The last Whitley Bay Summer League match was fished at Newton in heavy seas but six anglers still managed to weigh in. Mick Clark won with two cod for 4lb 9oz while Adam Johnson took the heaviest fish prize with a cod of 3¾lb and Steve Williams had a cod of 2lb 15oz.
There are plenty of smaller fish in the Wear for match anglers to target and there is always the chance of a big specimen flounder amongst them. A recent Eastenders sweepstake at Panns Bank saw Steve Williams win with thirty fish for 694cm, Ernie Hunter and Chris Hossack tied for the longest fish each with a flounder of 35cm. The Eastenders club match at the Business Park was won by Dave Raymond with a flounder of 1lb 6oz and Paul Lobley had the heaviest bag with sixteen fish for 6lb 6oz.
Boat anglers have been finding plenty of cod around the 5lb to 10lb mark from all areas when conditions allow and fresh mackerel has taken some specimen ling, the best reported lately being 19lb taken by an angler aboard the Swordfish. Geoff Ayre and Jason Bainbridge owners of the Swordfish have had some good results lately, Geoff took sixteen cod and fourteen ling and Jason had twelve cod and six ling on a recent trip with the biggest specimens just into low double figures.